AFC playoff chase 2021

uk_sox_fan

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Fivethirtyeight has a thing where they show their game-by-game predictions and playoff odds alongside the overall 'rating' for each game (538 NFL Predictions). Basically, for each game they average the Elo-based quality of the teams with the 'importance' of the game (i.e. how much winning and loses the game changes the teams' playoff odds). Both components and the overall ratings are listed on a scale of 1-100.

So far this year (through Week 11) there have been 3 games rated at 90 or above (TB @ LAR in Week 3 and LAC @ Bal in Week 6 with 92 and GB @ Min with 90 last week) and 14 more games rated 80+. The next 4 Pats games have current ratings of 91, 91, 90 and 90! And, yes, the importance factor does tend to greater extremes (more top and bottom-rated games) as the season nears its conclusion, but there is only one other game remaining (Ari @ Dal rated 93 in Week 17) with at least a 90 rating (and 15 others rated 80+)

So in the next 5 weeks (spanning their Week 14 bye) the Pats will play in 4 of the top 8 rated games of the year. Should be fun!
 

Ed Hillel

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After tonight, I’d say Buffalo is the favorite to win the AFC East, as they’d almost certainly hold the tiebreaker in such a scenario. But it’s still really close, and Buffalo is less consistent than New England, so a loss to, say, Carolina, would not be out of the question.
 

j-man

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AFC standings, with remaining schedules...

1. Ten 8-3 - at NE, vs Jax, at Pit, vs SF, vs Mia, at Hou
2. Bal 7-3 - vs Cle, at Pit, at Cle, vs GB, at Cin, vs LAR, vs Pit (yikes, that's brutal)
3. NE 7-4 - vs Ten, at Buf, at Ind, vs Buf, vs Jax, at Mia
4. KC 7-4 - vs Den, vs LV, at LAC, vs Pit, at Cin, at Den
5. Cin 6-4 - vs Pit, vs LAC, vs SF, at Den, vs Bal, vs KC, at Cle (another very hard schedule)
6. LAC 6-4 - at Den, at Cin, vs NYG, vs KC, at Hou, vs Den, at LV
7. Buf 6-4 - at NO, vs NE, at TB, vs Car, at NE, vs Atl, vs NYJ
8. Pit 5-4-1 - at Cin, vs Bal, at Min, vs Ten, at KC, vs Cle, at Bal (wow that's hard too)
9. Ind 6-5 - vs TB, at Hou, vs NE, at Ari, vs LV, at Jax
10. Cle 6-5 - at Bal, vs Bal, vs LV, at GB, at Pit, vs Cin (that's difficult too)

I think 10 wins definitely gets the Pats into the playoffs. A lot of teams in contention have difficult schedules remaining. A win this weekend gives the Pats a great chance at the #1 overall seed. Obviously they'd have to keep winning, but they'd have the tiebreaker over Ten. I think the Ravens will lose a couple of games the rest of the way - that schedule is very very tough. KC is lurking and their schedule isn't the hardest coming down the stretch. They could definitely run the table and be 13-4 when all is said and done.
denver is still very much in this and so is vegas if denver wins the next 2 weeks and vegas loses to WFT denver is in 1st place in the west
 

NortheasternPJ

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After tonight, I’d say Buffalo is the favorite to win the AFC East, as they’d almost certainly hold the tiebreaker in such a scenario. But it’s still really close, and Buffalo is less consistent than New England, so a loss to, say, Carolina, would not be out of the question.
I’m really interested to see what the Bills can do if the weathers bad. They looked lost in the weather against the Colts last week and can’t run the ball.
 

BaseballJones

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denver is still very much in this and so is vegas if denver wins the next 2 weeks and vegas loses to WFT denver is in 1st place in the west
Are you forgetting KC, j-man?

Well I guess Den plays KC on Dec 5 so that would give them both five losses.
 

lexrageorge

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After tonight, I’d say Buffalo is the favorite to win the AFC East, as they’d almost certainly hold the tiebreaker in such a scenario. But it’s still really close, and Buffalo is less consistent than New England, so a loss to, say, Carolina, would not be out of the question.
Assuming that the 2 teams split their games, the biggest tiebreaker issue will be division record, where the Pats loss to Miami is looming large, and the Bills (3-0 division record) remaining division game other than the Pats is at home against the Jets. If a shock upset happened in Week 17, the Pats do have currently have an edge in terms of conference record: Bills are 5-4 in the AFC, while the Pats are 5-1.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Buffalo has two vs NE and one at Tampa. Otherwise, their three other games are pretty easy. If they split with NE and lose to Tampa, they'll likely finish 11-6. But they'd be 5-1 in the division. NE, in this scenario, would need to win 12 games in order to beat Buffalo for the division title, due to in-division tiebreakers favoring the Bills. That means going 5-1 the rest of the way. And THAT means after splitting with Buffalo, going 4-0 in their other games. Two of those should be doable (Jax/Mia), but the other two are much tougher (Ten/Ind).

I'd say the Bills have the inside track here. And that's even if the Pats split with the Bills, which won't at all be easy.
 

wilked

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Buffalo has two vs NE and one at Tampa. Otherwise, their three other games are pretty easy. If they split with NE and lose to Tampa, they'll likely finish 11-6. But they'd be 5-1 in the division. NE, in this scenario, would need to win 12 games in order to beat Buffalo for the division title, due to in-division tiebreakers favoring the Bills. That means going 5-1 the rest of the way. And THAT means after splitting with Buffalo, going 4-0 in their other games. Two of those should be doable (Jax/Mia), but the other two are much tougher (Ten/Ind).

I'd say the Bills have the inside track here. And that's even if the Pats split with the Bills, which won't at all be easy.
I agree with all of the above except the last. I encourage everyone to dismiss this idea of the big bad bills. Pats are at least on even footing with them. I’d call a split the “expected outcome”, and will admit that it “won’t at all be easy” to sweep them, but that’s the goal
 

RIrooter09

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Buffalo has two vs NE and one at Tampa. Otherwise, their three other games are pretty easy. If they split with NE and lose to Tampa, they'll likely finish 11-6. But they'd be 5-1 in the division. NE, in this scenario, would need to win 12 games in order to beat Buffalo for the division title, due to in-division tiebreakers favoring the Bills. That means going 5-1 the rest of the way. And THAT means after splitting with Buffalo, going 4-0 in their other games. Two of those should be doable (Jax/Mia), but the other two are much tougher (Ten/Ind).

I'd say the Bills have the inside track here. And that's even if the Pats split with the Bills, which won't at all be easy.
I think they both finish 11-6 and the Bills take it. Good summary.
 

Dahabenzapple2

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Saints were playing a 5th string type QB without their 2 best offensive players.

We will know more after Sunday when I expect the Pats to crush Tennessee.

Not sure why anyone would have been impressed by Buffalo’s performance last night.
 

Ed Hillel

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I'd say the Bills have the inside track here. And that's even if the Pats split with the Bills, which won't at all be easy.
I'm not sure a split will be any more or less easy for either team. It has to be the most likely scenario by a lot.
I think they both finish 11-6 and the Bills take it. Good summary.
The one thing here is that Buffalo seems to be less consistent and I could see them losing to, say, Cam Newton on the road. I'm more confident New England will win the games in which they are favored. I do still have Buffalo as a slight favorite, but it's very slight.
 

Soxy

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I agree with all of the above except the last. I encourage everyone to dismiss this idea of the big bad bills. Pats are at least on even footing with them. I’d call a split the “expected outcome”, and will admit that it “won’t at all be easy” to sweep them, but that’s the goal
I honestly like the Pats chances better than the Bills. In no small part because I don't think the Bills match up very well with the Pats. Look at what Indy just did to them last week. Absolutely bludgeoned them to death. Saints were not in a position to do the same last night, but the Pats sure will be. Defensively, just play two deep safeties and dare them to run the ball. They won't because they can't.
 

RG33

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Yeah, I will join the chorus of being wildly unimpressed with the Bills yesterday against a really banged up Saints team. Allen continues to make bad mistakes, they really didn’t do too much on offense (two of their TDs were on missed tackles by the Saints), and losing Tre’Davious would be a monster, and possibly AFC-east, shifting loss. I don’t know how they will have any hope of stopping Tampa without him . . . . .
 

Soxy

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That is a huge loss for Buffalo. Pass defense was just about the only thing they had left to hang their hat on.
 

j-man

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it's too early to break down this week playoff pic

so i will break down buff and ne games left

Buff -
NE Tossup @ TB LOSS Car W @ ne tossup atl W NYJ W 3 W 1 L 2 TU Buff pjod rec 10-5-2

NE
@ Buff tossup @ indy win Buff tossup jax win @ mia tossup 2w 3 tossup ne pjod rec 10-4-3

i am assume u and buff spit so it shouild come down to can u win in miami

looking at mia sch they shouild win next two to be 7-7 then play at no and tenn miami couild be 9-7 going into to week 18
 

j-man

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1 Balt 7-3 - IF they win tonight they could be in good shape for the 1 seed at 12-5 pjod
2 NE 8-4 If they want the 1 seed they need to win out PJOD Rec 11-6
3 Ciny 7-4 they are very improved but a brutal 6-game sterch means 3-3 at best to me but i been wrong about them all year prod rec 10-7
4 KC if they want homefield they must win out but i see at least 2 more L'S Pjod rec 11-6
5 Buff without white will not win the afc but shouild get to 11 pjod rec 11-6
6 Tenn will win the afc south pjod rec 11-6
7 there are 4 teams too close to call here
7 A Vegas at best i see 2 L AT Worse 4 L so let spit the diff and say 10-7
7 B LAC i see 2 or 3 L here pjod rec 9-8
7 C Cle i see 8-9 or 9-8 here
7 D Den i say 9-8 will have to beat KC at least once plus spit @ LV and @ LAC and beat a very good ciny team
11 Indy no better than 9-8 at best
12 Mia 8-9 or 9-8 has a 40% chance to win out
13 Pitt will go 7-9-1 has a 35% of losing out
14 NYJ 3-8 building for 22 can wilson improve game by game
15 Jax see 14 but sub wilson for lawrence 2-9
16 Hou 2-9 my q is how much will they get for watson

pjod playoff bracket

1 Balt -bye

7 Vegas @ 2 NE
6 Ciny @ 3 tenn
5 Buff @ 4 KC
 

BaseballJones

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Baltimore has been very fortunate to be 8-3. In their 3 losses, they've gotten handled pretty easily. In their 8 wins, they won these close games:

- over KC by 1
- over Det by 2
- over Ind by 6 in OT
- over Min by 3 in OT
- over Chi by 3
- over Cle by 6

That's six wins by an average of 3.5 points per game. Two in OT. I mean, they are *barely* winning games when they win. The Pats, meanwhile, lost 4 games, but one was by 1, one by 2, and one by 6 in OT. But other than the Houston game, the Pats have been destroying people when they win.

Season point differential per game:
- Bal: +2.1
- NE: +12.2

And Baltimore still has this schedule left: at Pit, at Cle, vs GB, at Cin, vs LAR, vs Pit. They should go 3-3 in those games. Hard to expect them to do better than that with the way they're playing.

The Pats are going to need to get to 12 wins, one way or the other. With 5 games left, that's 4-1. Very difficult task. But I don't see Baltimore doing great against their remaining opponents. They've been VERY fortunate so far.
 

Silverdude2167

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The Pats are going to need to get to 12 wins, one way or the other. With 5 games left, that's 4-1. Very difficult task. But I don't see Baltimore doing great against their remaining opponents. They've been VERY fortunate so far.
This is an interesting statement, I think it is right but also wonder if it is.
Let's look at all the teams with 7+ wins

Balt: 8-3 (@Pit, @Cle, GB, @Cin, LAR, Pit) - 3-3 seems fair. 11-6 (4 confrence losses)
Pats: 8-4 (@Buf, @Colts, Buf, Jags, @Mia) - 3-2 seems possible, but @Mia scares me. 11-6 (3 conference losses)
Tenn: 8-4 (Jags, @Pit, 49ers, Mia, @Hou) - 4-1 seems possible 3-2 depending on how you view Mia. 12-5 or 11-6 (Lose head to head vs. Pats)
KC: 7-4 (Den, VGS, @LAC, Pit @Cin, @Den) - 5-1 seems possible, 4-2 likely. 12-5 or 11-6 (6 confrence losses)
Buf: 7-4 (Pats, @TB, Car, @Pats, Atl, NYJ) - 4-2 seem likely, 11-6 (Assume spilt with NE, win AFCE if tied)
Cin: 7-4 (LAC, 49ers, @Den, Blt, KC, @Cle) - Ouch 3-3 maybe, 10-7

So 12 does seem to be the target for the 1st seed as they are in good shape for most of the tiebreakers without knowing details and 3 + team ties.
The Miami loss kills them vs Buffalo.

No one has an easy schedule remaining except Tenn and half their roster is dead.
 

epraz

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But then 12 is also needed for the division, in your scenario. So the difference between 12 and 11 could be a bye and home field vs. traveling the first weekend (and at least another weekend after that)
 

88 MVP

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Looking at the records and remaining schedules, I agree 12 wins is probably the number for the 1 seed. A few different teams could get there, and it would probably come down to conference record, where the Pats should fare well.

That Miami loss really looms large for the Pats, and it feels like their most likely outcomes are the 1 seed or 5-6 seed. They could realistically go 4-1 to get to 12 wins and get the 1 seed, but in any scenario where they split with the Bills they could lose the AFCE on the tie breaker and end up going on the road in Round 1.
 

DGreenwood

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This is an interesting statement, I think it is right but also wonder if it is.
Let's look at all the teams with 7+ wins

Balt: 8-3 (@Pit, @Cle, GB, @Cin, LAR, Pit) - 3-3 seems fair. 11-6 (4 confrence losses)
Pats: 8-4 (@Buf, @Colts, Buf, Jags, @Mia) - 3-2 seems possible, but @Mia scares me. 11-6 (3 conference losses)
Tenn: 8-4 (Jags, @Pit, 49ers, Mia, @Hou) - 4-1 seems possible 3-2 depending on how you view Mia. 12-5 or 11-6 (Lose head to head vs. Pats)
KC: 7-4 (Den, VGS, @LAC, Pit @Cin, @Den) - 5-1 seems possible, 4-2 likely. 12-5 or 11-6 (6 confrence losses)
Buf: 7-4 (Pats, @TB, Car, @Pats, Atl, NYJ) - 4-2 seem likely, 11-6 (Assume spilt with NE, win AFCE if tied)
Cin: 7-4 (LAC, 49ers, @Den, Blt, KC, @Cle) - Ouch 3-3 maybe, 10-7

So 12 does seem to be the target for the 1st seed as they are in good shape for most of the tiebreakers without knowing details and 3 + team ties.
The Miami loss kills them vs Buffalo.

No one has an easy schedule remaining except Tenn and half their roster is dead.

Tankathon has Baltimore, KC, Buffalo, and Cincy all in the top eight hardest remaining schedules. NE is 21st. And of course Tennessee has the easiest remaining schedule in the league.
 

Cellar-Door

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Fortunately TEN is the one team amongst those we are competing with that I am least worried about.
Yeah, they're a mess. Though they do have a bye this week to get healthy. Brown and Henry will be out a while longer, but they could get back all of:
Julio Jones
Nate Davis (starting G)
Rashaan Evans (starting ILB)
Teair Tart (starting DT)
Geoff Swaim (starting TE)
and a bunch of rotation guys. They've been crushed by injuries, so a bye could be a huge help. I doubt they make a real run at the 1 seed, but I expect they make the playoffs, and with the chance of Brown and Henry back... they could be dangerous once they get in.
 

BusRaker

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A three-way tie at either 11 or 12 wins would be great for the Pats.

But fuck it, we're winning 13!
 

Ed Hillel

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If there is a 3-way tie in the conference and 2 teams are in the same division, they do Division tiebreak first, right? Pats have inside track on Conference tiebreaks, but not Division. Blah.
 

DJnVa

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If there is a 3-way tie in the conference and 2 teams are in the same division, they do Division tiebreak first, right? Pats have inside track on Conference tiebreaks, but not Division. Blah.

Yes. They break all division ties first.

Apply division tie breaker to eliminate all but the highest ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step 2. The original seeding within a division upon application of the division tie breaker remains the same for all subsequent applications of the procedure that are necessary to identify the two Wild-Card participants.
 

CoolPapaLaSchelle

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Probably belongs in the "Celebrating What Is" thread, but whenever I pop in here (or the Mac thread, for that matter), I am amazed that, less than a year after watching Cam consistently terrorize gophers, we are talking about (a) our playoff seeding, and (b) whether our rookie QB is elite or merely very good. Imagine being a Lions fan, or one of approximately a dozen teams consistently squinting across the decades to imagine a road to viability.
 

j-man

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Probably belongs in the "Celebrating What Is" thread, but whenever I pop in here (or the Mac thread, for that matter), I am amazed that, less than a year after watching Cam consistently terrorize gophers, we are talking about (a) our playoff seeding, and (b) whether our rookie QB is elite or merely very good. Imagine being a Lions fan, or one of approximately a dozen teams consistently squinting across the decades to imagine a road to viability.
or a bronco fan after 2016 sadly i think vic needs to go 9-8 to keep his job and my 02 cents he must fire the OC and ST coach
 

tims4wins

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Can someone explain this to me? Because I don’t get it. The Bills have the tiebreak and probably an easier remaining schedule. Why are we 250% more likely to get the 1 seed if we split?
View: https://twitter.com/fo_aschatz/status/1467180306683805705?s=10
It’s probably a function of remaining schedule (Bills still have @ Tampa), plus the fact that the Bills have one more game remaining than the Pats since they’ve already had their bye, so it’s one more opportunity for them to lose. Even if they are 70-80% likely to win that extra game, it makes a difference in the odds. If the Pats split vs the Bills chances are they go 2-1 in the other games for an 11-6 finish, with an outside shot at 12-5. If the Bills split they’d have to win out to get to 12-5, but mostly likely result is 11-6 with a chance at 10-7 if they lose one of their other remaining games.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Bills have to play at TB, which is #1 in DVOA, and also have an extra game they need to win which matters probabilistically because even games against pushover teams are probably calculated as having like a 15-20% chance of a loss.

Edit: what tims4wins said.
 

Euclis20

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Can someone explain this to me? Because I don’t get it. The Bills have the tiebreak and probably an easier remaining schedule. Why are we 250% more likely to get the 1 seed if we split?
The Bills definitely don't have an easier remaining schedule (.536 vs. .474, plus Tampa is easily the hardest opponent), and the Pats are slightly better per DVOA (2nd overall and 1st in weighted, vs. 3rd and 3rd for Buffalo), plus while Buffalo will have the tiebreaker vs the Pats and the Chiefs, they definitely won't have it against Tennessee/Baltimore/Cincinnati due to a lousy conference record (Pats will have it against everyone other than Buffalo).
 

DJnVa

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The Bills definitely don't have an easier remaining schedule (.536 vs. .474, plus Tampa is easily the hardest opponent),
I think he means outside of the games against each other, but that's only true because they play the Bucs.

Bills (removing Bucs): 13-21
Pats: 13-22

So, pretty much dead even AND then the Bills get an "extra" game against Buccaneers.
 

Red Averages

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I think he means outside of the games against each other, but that's only true because they play the Bucs.

Bills (removing Bucs): 13-21
Pats: 13-22

So, pretty much dead even AND then the Bills get an "extra" game against Buccaneers.
yeah, but the extra game is all downside. The Pats have played an extra game and won it. So you can’t strip out the hardest game to say they have the same strength of schedule. The Bills would need to win their toughest game and then you could argue they have the same schedule. Which means if they split, the Pats have a large advantage as they have an easier path to winning out, as already described a few posts above.

edit - I just re-read your post and realized you were making the same point. My apologies. I’ll leave it up so others see my stupidity.
 
Last edited:

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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yeah, but the extra game is all downside. The Pats have played an extra game and won it. So you can’t strip out the hardest game to say they have the same strength of schedule. The Bills would need to win their toughest game and then you could argue they have the same schedule.
Yes. I was disagreeing with him--but trying to figure out why he thought that.
 

Ed Hillel

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Bills have to play at TB, which is #1 in DVOA, and also have an extra game they need to win which matters probabilistically because even games against pushover teams are probably calculated as having like a 15-20% chance of a loss.

Edit: what tims4wins said.
Oh shit, I totally missed the Tampa game. I thought it was just Carolina.

Yeah, makes complete sense nm.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Apparently BAL may be losing Marlon Humphrey in addition to everyone else they've lost. (He's getting a MRI on Monday). If Humphrey is going to miss a lot of time, BAL is going to have big trouble down the stretch.
 

Soxy

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Yeah, Baltimore was destined to have big trouble down the stretch no matter what, honestly. They've been living a charmed life in winning a lot of close games, and their remaining schedule is unforgiving. I don't think they're really a contender in the AFC. They just don't have the horses, been decimated by injuries since before the season even started.
 

Dogman

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Hello, one seed.
I'm happy we have the #1 seed at the moment too but I'm going to start knocking posts and posters with adding nothing. Seriously. You have been called out multiple times to add context, discussion worthy posts, and actual content.

This post is none of those. Do better really fast.
 

tims4wins

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Baltimore's schedule is brutal and they're just not very good. 11-6 tops and more likely to be 10-7 or even 9-8 if the bottom falls out.
Completely agree.

@ Clev
vs GB
@ Cincy
vs Rams
vs Steelers

That is a gauntlet. 3-2 / 11-6 would be a good outcome for them, and 2-3 / 10-7 wouldn’t be a surprise at all. It looks like there could be a huge cluster of 10-7 / 9-8 teams in the AFC, so tiebreakers will be huge. All four of their losses are to AFC teams so they’re not in great position on that front at this point.

It looks like week 18 will be fascinating. It’s tough to envision a scenario where many teams have anything wrapped up, and there could legitimately be 10-12 teams with playoff hopes alive entering the final game.
 
Aug 9, 2015
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Such a weird year but I can see one of Balt, Tenn, KC, Buff or Pats getting to 13-4, either because they get (or stay) hot (e.g. KC or Pats) or ride a favorable schedule and get healthier (Tenn). I hated it reflexively at first but I think the single bye really does makes things more interesting.